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Ford Focus

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8.1 10 wowscore
New ford focus candy yellow
  • Brilliant all-rounder
  • Excellent engines
  • Top build quality
  • Not the biggest interior
  • Expensive
  • As fun to drive as the old one?

Reviews of the new Ford Focus have been extremely positive. This Focus is a clear improvement on the previous generation. Critics are especially pleased with the new car’s refinement, build quality and engaging handling, and the consensus from reviews is that overall it's a substantial improvement over the previous car.


The cabin of the new Focus is nicely trimmed, with plenty of good quality materials and funky design touches – for instance, the controls for the centre console are inspired by the button layout on a mobile phone.

Space is good for the driver and passengers, despite the new Focus being slightly narrower than before. However, some testers weren’t fond of the cheaper material on the door cards for the low-spec models, and Vauxhall’s Astra and the VW Golf have larger boots.


Previous Focus’ have been defined by the way they drive, and this Mk3 is no exception. Though some critics reckoned that the electric-powered steering was less responsive than the old hydraulic set-up, the general consensus is that the Focus is still a great handling car, and certainly engaging enough for most buyer’s needs.

The refinement and ride quality were also plus points, though some testers did state that it was more fidgety on rougher surfaces with 18 inch wheel option.


There’s a wide range of engines on offer, ranging from updated diesels to brand new ‘Ecoboost’ petrols, and the critics love all of them – there really isn’t a bad engine in the range.

Ford expects most buyers to opt for the 1.6 diesel, which, with a claimed 67 mpg, will be the most economical engine in the range until the Focus Econetic arrives. If you want a bit more oomph to make the most of the Focus’ excellent chassis, then there are bigger diesels and zesty petrol engines on offer. More thrills will be available with the 250hp Focus ST.

Value for money

Despite offering a package that could humble some executive saloons, the Focus is a respectably priced car, with the various models being offered in the same price range as rivals such as the plush VW Golf.

However, top spec models are quite expensive, and the wide range of desirable and pricy options can increase the price even further. That being said, the low to mid-spec rivals are good value for money, and every model gets air-con, Bluetooth and a DAB radio a standard.

Buying a New Ford Focus

If you're looking to buy an new Focus you can use carwow to compare official Ford dealer's prices and delivery times so you get the best possible deal.

Simply select the Focus you want and Ford dealers will submit offers online. Alongside each offer you'll see the full details of each dealer, can contact them directly at anytime (but they can't contact you!) and if you want to buy you buy directly from them, then collect from their showroom or get the car delivered.

For more check out our buying a new Ford Focus page.

Worth noting

All the Focus’ on sale have a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, though the 2.0 diesel engines have the option of a dual-clutch ‘Powershift’ auto ‘box. Most testers agree that it’s good as an automatic, but some thought that the controls where clumsy to use when the system was manually operated. It’s also a £1,250 optional extra, so you’ll have to be pretty committed to having an automatic if you want a Focus equipped with one.


Overall, experts say that the all-new Ford Focus is one of the best cars in its class, and a very recommendable choice. The quality and refinement give it an aurora of maturity and sensibility, yet it’s still one of the best family hatchbacks to drive in nearly every condition possible.

The looks may be an acquired taste, and the price may be a bit steep for the top-spec models, but you’ll have a very good car if you can live with those shortcomings.

Read Ford Focus reviews >>

Key Details

Price range:
£13,995 - £33,580
39 - 83
Safety rating (NCAP):
5 out of 5 stars
Date released:
Early 2011
Replacement due:
Not for at least a few years
Model history:
The Zetec S trim was launched in late-2011, full details here: Ford Focus Zetec S. The ST went on sale in mid-2012, with first deliveries in 2013.
Engine to go for:
The 1.6 TDCi 115bhp is a great all-rounder
Engine to avoid:
There’s no weak engine really
Options to go for:
The excellent adaptive cruise-control
Options to avoid:
The lane departure warning doesn't seem very effective
Other variants:
If you need a little more room, check out the new Focus Estate. If you want a super fast version check out the Focus ST.
Engine naming:
TDCi refers to diesel engine, EcoBoost engines are petrols.
Read Ford Focus reviews >>
Type Reviews Score
1.0 Ecoboost 8 8.6
1.6 EcoBoost 150 8 8.5
1.6 EcoBoost 180 11 7.7
1.6 TDCi 115 4 7.5
2.0 TDCi 140 5 7.8
2.0 TDCi 163 7 7.9
General 3 8.0
Experienced this car? Instantly share your thoughts below!

Ford Focus User Reviews

1.6 TDCi 115 (2011) 56.0 mpg
9 10 wowscore

So far (under 2 months of ownership) I have had no problems at all, not even a squeak or noise coming from any part of it. The only time I had to ring the dealer was to ask about the fuel economy. The 1.6 TDCi I own is meant to do about 67mpg, but at the moment I’m only getting 56mpg, which is slightly disappointing. My dealer explained this is perfectly normal as the engine needs time to run in. I will report back as to whether that figure improves or not.

The stereo I have (the standard one) is very good. The controls take some time to get used to as there are lots of them, but the radio reception and audio quality is excellent. Adaptive cruise control is a option I’m pleased I got as it makes for relaxed motorway driving. It never fails to find the car in front and you always feel in full control of it, unlike one I tried on a BMW once.

Most of the reviews online I’ve read say it’s not as good handling as the old one. I haven’t driven the old one so all I can say is this new Focus is a lot of fun. It feels very grippy and taking the odd corner fast never fails to make me grin.

  • By Robert Pierson, who owns this car
5 10 wowscore

We have only had our car 13 days and it is now back in the garage as it failed to start this morning. The problem being a faulty battery, we have been informed that this is going to take at least 5 working days to replace with a new one. Why it should take so long for a repacement battery I do not have the answer for. We have been given a hire car for our use but I whould rather be driving my new car.

The weekend before it broke down we drove from Bolton to Newmarket to visit our daughter. My husband was driving and he said the car was a dream to drive using the cruise control was a relaxing experience. It is to early to comment about the fuel efficiently as the car is still running in. The whole driving exprience was a pleasure including the radio system being DAB and FM and the SAT NAV and Bluetooth.

Hoping that the battery is going to be a minor blip even though it is very annoying and we have not bought a white elephant will kep you informed of the situation.

  • By Christine Martindale, who owns this car
1.6 TDCi 115PS (2011) 45.0 mpg
5 10 wowscore

Don’t buy the 1.6 TDCi, averages 45mpg whereas the 2.0 TDCi averages 50mpg! Door panels rattle if more than 50% of the radio volume is used. Electric steering has poor feedback.

On the plus side it handles well and is quiet

1.6 (2012)
1 10 wowscore

just got the car , love it it feels so well built and handles well loves forth gear and has everything king of the road in its class if u have the money go titanium ford for the win.

  • By zetec1.6, who owns this car
1.0 ecoboost 125 (2012) 34.0 mpg
5 10 wowscore

I have owned the new Focus 1.0 ecoboost 125 for around 4 months. This car does not achieve the advertised mpg of around 56mpg. I struggle to get 34mpg. The car is used on open roads for a 11 mile each way commute. The best mpg achieved was on a 300 mile motorway round trip, an extremely poor 38mpg. Its been back to Ford twice, but aparently no fault found. The car is good in all other aspects.

  • By Alex Mackay, who owns this car
1.6 Petrol (2013)
5 10 wowscore

I can’t believe work fobbed me off with this car to drive back to Manchester from London. The 1.6 petrol has less power than a fully laden diesel Fiesta van. 5th gear has no acceleration capabilities whatsoever, unless you are going down hill. You have to shift down to 4th to gain speed even if you’re already doing 85. And with only 9000km it sounded like a diesel. Handling was average. Looks-wise I don’t think they’re too bad, and the ride quality was very good. However, the driver’s seat is not at all comfy on a long journey, and the steering is very light even at high speed. Clutch and brakes we’re good. The indicator seemed to never pick the same signal pattern twice in a row. The windows annoyingly don’t roll all the way up unless you keep your finger on the buttons. And the in-car entertainment was a pain in the ar$£. Think I’ll get a flight instead next time!

  • By Unfortunate
(2012) 38.0 mpg
7 10 wowscore

Having owned 2 x 1.6l Mk2’s in the past, was prepared to stick with the brand and to give the 1.0l Eco 3-cylinder a go. 6 months in, and I’m very impressed with the output from such a small engine and i never fear for my life at junctions or overtaking on motorways. My normal daily travel is just to work and bak and family shopping, and i get about 39mpg. On a longer trip if I don’t flog the engine, I definitely get well over 50mpg.

The car’s a little smaller all round than the MK2, but can still handle a family of 4 in comfort. I like the cabin and all the controls, though I do keep inadvertently turning the lights on with my right knee ! Also, the glove compartment is set too low and is really awkward to open if you have a passenger. It could be higher on the dash.

My single biggest gripe is that if you open the rear doors on a wet day, the rear seats get a big dollop of water dropped on them. You’d think this annoying fault would have been addressed in development.

Overall, cheaper to run than ever and a nice looking if not startlingly original car.

  • By Mike Harris, who owns this car
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